Marines suspend fitness tests as coronavirus runs rampant across the nation

By STEVE BEYNON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 4, 2020

WASHINGTON -- The Marine Corps has suspended combat fitness tests for the rest of the year due to the spikes of coronavirus cases across the country.

“All Marines who have not yet conducted the Combat Fitness Test will not do so this year due to the current nationwide #COVID19 environment,” the service’s official Twitter account posted Friday.

As of now, testing is suspended through the rest of 2020 and will resume in January, according to a memo from the Marine Corps.

There are exceptions in which some Marines might have to conduct a test ahead of shipping to a school, such as Sniper School or Officer Candidate School. Testing has also not paused for boot camp. Current fitness test failures still must conduct another assessment for a passing score.

"Although the CFT has been suspended for CY 2020, Marines are required to maintain physical fitness, body composition, and military appearance standards at all times," according to a memo from the Marine Corps.

The move from the Corps follows other branches that have paused testing much earlier in the pandemic.

The Army suspended fitness tests counting on a soldier’s record in the spring, despite this being the year that the service would kick off its new fitness test. Units are allowed to conduct the Army Combat Fitness Test, but it will not count officially. It is unclear when the Army will resume tests for official records.

The Air Force suspended fitness tests, but the service plans to resume them on Jan. 1. However, some base commanders have postponed them until spring. The Navy is planning to resume fitness assessments in March.

As of Friday, more than 14,331,200 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 277,600 have died, according to data from The New York Times.

Conditions have worsened with winter approaching. During the past week, there has been an average of 180,327 cases per day, an increase of 8% from the average of two weeks ago.

Twitter: @StevenBeynon